Strengthen Data and Accountability

August 16, 2010

Although low-income adults and disadvantaged youth may receive services from more than one education, training or related system over time, the data systems to collect and analyze information on student progress and outcomes are disconnected and fragmented.  Existing federal, state, and institutional data systems do not collect the information necessary to track all students, assess program effectiveness, or inform continuous program improvement. 

Existing measures of accountability for education and training programs provide little incentive for institutions to help low-income and disadvantaged students attain marketable credentials and family-supporting jobs.  So institutions invest limited resources in participants who are job-ready or near job-ready instead of lower-skilled participants and in longer-term education and credential programs.

To overcome these challenges, C-PES supports and advocates for:

  • Improved data systems and analysis to determine what’s working, create a culture of continuous improvement, and provide better consumer information.  This requires robust data systems that track student outcomes over time, across education and training sectors and into the labor market.
  • Strengthened and aligned adult education and workforce development and higher education accountability systems to improve outcomes for low-income adults and disadvantaged youth. C-PES advocates for changes in current federal accountability systems so that they incent increased services to low-income adults and disadvantaged youth; continuous improvement in service quality; and greater system alignment to help more people achieve career and postsecondary success.

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